Helsinki Media Company Oy which will merge into Sanoma-WSOY Corporation has today increased the holding and vote of its wholly owned Norwegian subsidiary Helsinki Media Company A/S in the Norwegian based A-pressen ASA to 20 per cent. The shares have been acquired in several lots and the price of the total holding is NOK 220 million.
A-pressen is the second largest publicly listed media corporation in Norway with net sales of NOK 2,188.3 million in 1997. The corporation owns a large number of local daily papers, many of them leaders in their respective market areas. The company owns one third of the Norwegian commercial television channel TV2, and through TV2 a 16.4 per cent interest in TVNorge.
A-pressen's result trend has been declining in 1996 - 1998. The net result for 1997 was approximately NOK 17.4 million. The declining result is partly attributable to TV2's program investments, the unprofitable operations of the local TV companies and certain city papers, reorganisations of the printing companies and production problems at the new printing press.
A-pressen operates in the same core industries as Sanoma Corporation and Helsinki Media, and has grown considerably in the past ten years through acquisitions of local daily papers and diversification from newspaper publishing to new media and TV operations.
The purpose of the transaction is to ensure long-term branch co-operation and enhance the value of the holding. Co-operation between the principal shareholders will create good possibilities for this.
Additional information: Mr. Jaakko Rauramo, Chairman of the Board, Helsinki Media; tel. +358 9 122 4630.
WERNER SÖDERSTRÖM CORPORATION - WSOY
President and CEO
HELSINKI MEDIA COMPANY OY
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Distribution: Helsinki Stock Exchange, principal media